HOW TO: Live-Tweet to Grow your Startup

Written by Draper University's Marketing Associate, Allie Felix.

In light of Draper University’s StartupU premiere on ABC Family, I wanted to share my tips and tricks for live-tweeting an event. During the one-hour period of the show, we saw an impressive increase in impressions and followers (see below). This growth was ORGANIC and UNPAID. Well worth the soreness my thumbs felt after.

Utilizing social media is an easy and inexpensive way to build an audience of targeted followers and increase influence in your industry.

What is it?

Live-tweeting is the act of literally tweeting topics, quotes, and photos as they happen. This is commonly done during TV shows, large conferences, or other social events to share what is going on as the event unfolds. It is a way to digitally connect your audience to you and each other.

Twitter is a community of sharing that encourages brand awareness, relationship building, and driving sales.

There are two things you already know about people:

 1. They love putting in their 2 cents: As social media is a cornerstone of the entertainment industry, it’s likely that your target market is already using these channels to tell their OWN story. Your goal is to jump in on the conversation, and utilize them as evangelists for your brand. Think of it as free marketing with very little opportunity cost.

2. They want to like what everybody else likes (hello, FOMO!): The best way to instill a “got to have it” mentality over your brand / product/ event is to get people talking about it. Nobody wants to miss out on the fun his or her friends or co-workers are having. You better believe that they won’t make the mistake of missing the next one!

So, how do I do it?

First things first, you need to create a unique event hashtag to direct conversation. If you’re hosting a one-time event, like a conference, use an event abbreviation and date (similar to Apple’s #WWDC15).

If your event is reoccurring, such as the StartupU TV series, you want your audience to be able to join the conversation any time. For this, you should use a more generic hashtag that identifies with the brand, such as #StartupU.

It’s important to pin to the top of your Twitter profile a tweet that provides a link to your product, service, or brand. Use your event hashtag and an eye-catching image in this tweet (images will get you 150% more RTs). This ensures that YOUR voice does not get lost in a sea of twitter chat engagement. 

It’s event day. Now what?

Get your phone out (I suggest laptop if you really mean business) and get ready to rumble! You should prepare some tweets ahead of time that direct traffic to your site using the relevant hashtag.

…And now comes the best part

 Live-tweeting allows you to create one-on-one engagement with your target market. It’s an opportune time to connect with influencers and an audience of people who are interested and talking about similar topics.

Click on your unique hashtag, and follow the flow of conversation. Your goal is to engage with and start conversations with as many of them as possible. Conversations around a mutual topic adds value and will lend credibility and authority to you, as well as increase your following.

These interactions create opportunity for relationship building and sales driving. Take the time to engage!

Are you currently using live-tweeting to promote your events? I’d love to know what has worked for you.